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Regrets, I’ve had a few

When I was a freshman in high school, I stress-fractured both of my ankles when running cross country and track.  That sidelined me throughout the entire spring season.  With the help of cushion inserts and Sauconys, I launched into my fall cross-country season with renewed vigour.  Unfortunately, I developed pain in my left quad, which turned out to be a femoral stress fracture.  Before I found out it was a fracture, I ran through the pain, at one point running a personal best on our home cross-country course in eighteen minutes and six seconds.  By the time I saw a doctor, the fracture was six inches long and big enough to be seen on an X-ray.

Orthotics fixed the problem well enough for high school, but my leg gives me enough problems to this day that I functionally can no longer be a runner.  Damn, do I miss it, and I would give those high school races back in a heartbeat if it meant I could be a runner now.

Connor Callihan is a high school junior who crawled across the finish line after a stress fracture shattered his tibia during a race.  What a tough, tough kid.  I hope things work out better for him than they did for me; it would be heartbreaking if his determination to finish this season meant that he doesn’t have any other seasons to run.

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Jake Tapper at St. Anslem College

Note: about 2/3ds of this was deleted (I blame either WordPress, iPad, or myself).  Will try to reconstruct the talk below.  Also, there are minor edits.

I’m in NH at St. Anslem College, listening to Jake Tapper speak about his career as a war correspondent.

He describes “The Outpost” as the most intense professional project of his life, a way to help Americans understand the military and why the war in Afghanistan is so difficult. He wants readers to understand counter-insurgency: how Americans fight insurgents by driving them out of their villages, work with the villagers to help, and work with the families who may have insurgents in their families or as friends.

Tapper wants readers to understand this “Not just intellectually, but emotionally”; the fear, difficulties, and struggles of American soldiers.

“It is not for me to judge” the policies of the war, Tapper says. He believes that between three and seven thousand troops will remain in Afghanistan after 2014.

The two small arguments made are that we need to equip our troops if we send them into harm’s way; the outpost did not have enough a equipment, including helicopters. Strategically, there were problems with sending provisions to the troops.

Tapper also said that there is an “inertia of Army thinking.”. Outpost Keating was too vulnerable and not accomplishing anything; due to some stubbornness (my words, not Mr. Tapper’s), the outpost remained in operation.

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I don’t like being right…

…well, I don’t like being right when it’s my cynical self doing the talking.

Back in the fall, a lot of very libertarian-minded people refused to support or vote for Mitt Romney under the “He will be just as bad as Obama” theory.  To which I said, “Do you want Obama nominating Antonin Scalia’s replacement?”  (We’ll assume, arguendo, that the two people would be the same, a premise with which I strongly disagree.)  “Oh, Scott Brown is too liberal.”  Hey, guys, he said that his favourite Supreme Court Justice is Scalia, and he voted to filibuster Elena Kagan. 

So, my friends, what do you want to happen if and when the constitutionality of Obama’s twenty-three gun-related executive orders* is challenged?  The orders can be challenged both on the merits, and on the constitutionality of regulating that area via executive order.  Do you want a 5-4 ruling that the President has the right to overrule certain sections of HIPAA, violate state privacy laws, and require states to actively share information on a federal database?  I mean, if you’re cool with that, and if you stayed home in November like eight million other 2008 voters did, then rock on. 

There is also some abject foolishness in the way that doctors are treated by this Administration.  (Yes, this is a health care policy blog; here’s some health care policy for my wonks out there.)  A potential doctor goes to college, takes at least two semesters each of chemistry, physics, biology, and organic chemistry, then applies to medical school.  Most of those students do not get into any medical school.  The ones who get in spend four more years and over a quarter-million dollars learning about immunology, cancer, anatomy, each system of the body, etc.  Then it’s another four to six years in residency, by which time they are all at least thirty years old, in debt up to their eyeballs, and members of a profession that is somewhat understaffed.

In what screwed-up world are we going to have these people talk about seatbelts, guns in the home**, and other issues?  I’m sorry, if you think that doctors should be spending their precious (and, to us, scarce) time talking about crap that a social worker can handle, you’re delusional.  Nothing against social workers, but if we want every American to spend time talking to a professional about seatbelts, we can do that by having them all talk to a social worker, straight of college, before their doctor’s appointments.  Or before they renew their driver’s licenses.  Requiring doctors to talk about these things is like requiring a Nobel prize-winning physicist to spend half his day scrubbing toilets in the bathroom. 

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Welcome!

Welcome to “Fog of Law,” a health care law and policy blog.  The “fog of law” refers to the confusion as the media reported on the ObamaCare ruling.

I’m a Massachusetts-based lawyer who was the spokeswoman for a ballot initiative to repeal the state-wide individual mandate.

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